A number of ‘shovel ready’ funding decisions “made in haste” and “not high quality”

Greens are in damage control and leader leader James Shaw continues to copy flak for his decision to approve a $11.7 million grant to a private green school, which is contrary to longstanding Green Party policy (see Greens under fire for $11m private school funding).

But in an apparent attempt in trying to mitigate “creating a mess right at this time at the start of an election campaign” Shaw has said that a number of decisions made were “made in haste” and “not high quality”.

Stuff: James Shaw apologises for school decision, saying he wouldn’t do it again

He said that the speed of the process had resulted in some poor decisions.

“I have to say I’m unimpressed with the whole decision-making process,” Shaw said, referencing the speed with which decisions were made.

“There were a number of decisions that weren’t high quality decisions, that were made in haste to support the country during a crisis,” he said.

I wonder if Shaw will elaborate on which of the other funding decisions have not been high quality.

More from Shaw on the private school decision:

The grant to the Green School in Taranaki from the $3 billion “shovel-ready” projects fund was made alongside ministers from other parties, and in his capacity as associate finance minister, rather than Green co-leader, but Shaw told members that wasn’t good enough.

“I want to apologise to you and the wider Green Party whānau for creating a mess right at this time at the start of an election campaign”.

“I want to apologise for the decision itself. If I was in the same position again I wouldn’t make the same decision”.

I’m sure he wouldn’t make the same decision knowing what a hypocrisy mess he has created for the Greens.

“We are working to fix it,” Shaw said.

“We entered this in good faith, we can’t simply say we’d dump it. It would ultimately be unfair to the other side and be exposed to legal risk”.

Nevertheless, members were told there would be a wider public apology and “resolution” sometime next week.

It would certainly be unfair to withdraw funding already decided on.

But what other sort of fix or resolution is possible? Labour are not offering any help.

Newshub: Multi-million dollar funding for private Green School in Taranaki going ahead despite backlash

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said on Thursday the funding was not something he would have prioritised for the education sector and said the funding for Green School was something the Greens wanted.  

“Ultimately, that was something the Green Party advocated quite strongly for and so it was one of their wins, if you like, out of the shovel-ready projects area. It’s not necessarily a project that I would’ve prioritised.”

Finance Minister Grant Robertson confirmed on Friday the funding will still go ahead despite the backlash because he believes the Government should keep its word.  

“I can understand that there are people who perhaps don’t like it or would rather the decision was changed. But I think the Government’s got to act in good faith here with an applicant and so I’ve got no intention to do that,” Robertson said. 

Robertson said the funding was signed off as part of 150 shovel-ready projects the Government approved to help stimulate the economy. He said the funding is separate from the funding that goes to the education sector.

 I wonder how many of those 150 signed off projects are not high quality in addition to Shaw’s big mistake?

More on Shaw’s decision.

Luke Malpass (Stuff): Hypocrisy, thy colour is Green

Hypocrisy, thy colour is Green.

Or, perhaps more specifically, thy name is James Shaw.

It’s almost a quarter of the money set aside for the Climate Change Commission that Shaw specifically mentioned in his 2019 Budget speech.

The leader of the Green Party, which purports publicly to be the party of the downtrodden and dispossessed, has inadvertently revealed itself for what many think it actually is – a party that mostly serves well-heeled Kiwis in secure and well-paid employment that care about the environment, climate change and want to go cycling and tramping on the weekend.

Stuff understands that the school’s proposal for funding was originally rejected by both the Treasury and the Cabinet committee of the Government’s economic development ministers.

The school incident shows Shaw is just as prepared as NZ First is to wring money out of the Government for pet projects. Now, even worse, Shaw is trying to get the Government to revoke the cash it has already committed to the school. Talk about principles.

It is almost inexplicable that Shaw thought this was a good idea on political grounds, or justifiable on equity grounds. Even the idea that this “creates jobs” also looks dubious. At best, it substitutes one set of jobs for another, as much of the employment will be temporary and go to builders and contractors.

This decision will be an albatross around Shaw’s neck for the rest of his career, which has been carefully built around being an unthreatening, pragmatic Green with integrity.

It’s going be tough for the Greens to keep their support above the 5% threshold after this faux pas from the hapless Shaw.

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35 Comments

  1. Duker

     /  29th August 2020

    Its a mistake in that it contradicts party policy, but at least he has admitted it was done in error.
    Just this week National was ditching its free enterprise principles -again- to talk about ‘assistance’ for Tiwai Pt smelter , even though the last time the owner got free taxpayers , again from National, it was said to be ‘a one off’. Famously the NP also ditched their no more new treaty claims policy along with the abolish the maori electorates when last in government.

    Reply
    • John J Harrison

       /  29th August 2020

      Duker, wrong, yet again.
      Shaw was the only Minister pushing for the funding of the Green project.
      If all you can offer up is another failed attempt at deflection, then you should just admit defeat.

      Reply
    • Kimbo

       /  29th August 2020

      National aren’t the party of principled free enterprise. That’s ACT.

      Instead, since 1949 National has been the party of business-friendly, pragmatic, cautious incrementalism. Otherwise described as…Keep Labour out of government!

      Reply
      • How on earth does someone sign off an $11,000,000+ project IN ERROR ?

        Damned expensive error.

        Reply
        • Kimbo

           /  29th August 2020

          To you and me, but sadly, no, for government that is likely a very small error. Especially as the primary error to which Shaw referred is the PR damage to the Green Party’s brand. And I think he senses it, especially as there are certain mistakes that a politician can make – like, say perk-buster Rodney Hide accepting perks once in government – that can be really damaging. Or Helen Clark retrospectively taking away the right of Maori to their day in court with the Foreshore and Sea Act.

          Hence the Metiria Turei benefit-fraud thing last election didn’t harm the Greens, in fact their percentage points initially went up until the Jacinda-wave wiped out a lot of their soft support. Indeed among the hard-core left of the Greens, not encumbered with the luxury of bourgeois values of Kennedy Graham and Dave Clendon – or maybe because of bourgeois white guilt – Turei’s alleged economic plight from years before resonated with them and why they vote Green.

          But giving $11 million in public money to a private school?! Right there you’ve committed an ideological heresy in the eyes of one of the more…implacable interest groups who are your core base. And once you lose the teachers, it is a long hard road to hoe for the Greens…

          Reply
  2. John J Harrison

     /  29th August 2020

    This is absolutely hilarious seeing the Looney Left tear themselves apart.
    Both Robinson and Hipkins are ensuring this will remain the case as they both refuse to withdraw the funding that Shaw pleaded for.
    What an absolute Cluster – – ,and I am not referring to Covid.
    Shaw will now have to go nuclear and follow up on his assertion that a number of decisions for funds from Shane Jones $3 Billion slush fund were of low quality.
    Colour me absolutely surprised !
    When Jones, Peters and the 3 hopeless Labour Ministers involved in anything requiring clear eyed analyses they failed.
    What a surprise — NOT.
    They took our hard earned tax money and borrowed funds to assist themselves politically, not for the betterment of the taxpayers.
    This will play out all of next week with Collins and Goldsmith asking the leading questions in the House.
    Off to the supermarket to stock up on popcorn.

    Reply
  3. Duker

     /  29th August 2020

    Harrison , Shaws says it was a mistake, that in hindsight wouldnt have given it the OK
    Its was originally part of the New Plymouth District Council wish list

    Reply
    • John J Harrison

       /  29th August 2020

      Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t Duker.
      Shaw as leader of the Looney Left pushed this vacuous project as hard as he could to get approval.
      Fact !

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  29th August 2020

        One from Mickey@TS to put in your pipe JJ.

        ‘ A party that can spend the same amount of money flying sheep to Saudi Arabia and building a sheep farm on private land in the middle of the desert in an effort to solve a non existing legal problem are not in a position to point the finger at anyone.’

        Reply
        • John J Harrison

           /  29th August 2020

          Blazer, you were doing so well this morning but ruined it with another failed attempt at deflection.
          The Greens are now toast.

          Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  29th August 2020

    Shaw is back pedalling.
    Party criticism took him by surprise.

    A shovel ready project that could bury the Greens come election time.

    Reply
    • John J Harrison

       /  29th August 2020

      Blazer, couldn’t agree more.
      A first for you.
      It is totally delicious to witness them stabbing each other in the back – all in the public gaze.

      Reply
  5. John J Harrison

     /  29th August 2020

    Over at The Daily Blog and The Standard the Loony Left are tearing themselves apart with an internecine civil war.
    Disastrously Countdown have run out of popcorn!
    Clearly, I am not the only one hoarding for the internal destruction of the Greens which will appear on our screens next week.
    Bugger !

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  29th August 2020

      Storm in teacup …cppared to the internecine warfare of the National party this year.

      The award for Beirut sized party explosion in NZ was ACT after the 2008 election….it ran for 2 years once they realised that Key and National was running a ‘labour-lite’ government and Hide wasnt doing anything to stop them. Roger Douglas had even returned to parliament to resume his Rogernomics theories….oh dear all for nothing

      Reply
    • Pak & Save have it, John.

      Reply
  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  29th August 2020

    Headline:

    Greens Steal Taxpayers’ Money For The Wrong Thing. Bad Boy Shaw.

    So difficult to be a principled thief.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  29th August 2020

      ‘Headline:

      Nats Steal Taxpayers’ Money For The Wrong Thing. =just another day at…the office.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  29th August 2020

      Not stolen money , part of the provincial Growth fund for new Plymouth District
      Provincial Growth Unit

      SH 43 Improvements; $13,450,000,
      SH43 Unlocking tourism; $9,600,000,
      1 Billion Trees Grant; $940,000,
      GM Transitional Economies;
      $600,000, Turbocharging Tapuae Roa;
      $530,000, SH43 business case;
      $400,000, Tapuae Roa Project Coordinator;
      $210,000, Major Food Opportunities;
      $150,000, Maori Entrerprise and Education Stocktake;
      $100,000, Innovation Precincts;
      $100,000, Quarry Road Te Wera;
      $2,070,000, Stratford Economic Support (Roading);
      $770,000, Hiringa Green Hydrogen;
      $19,900,000, Taranaki Crossing;
      $13,300,000, Blueberry Production;
      $1,450,000, Parihaka Visitor;
      $14,000,000, Taranaki Cathedral;
      $5,000,000, Woodspan Panels;
      $1,800,000, Hydrogen Supply;
      $950,000, NP Economic Support (Egmont Rd);
      $350,000, Acos Filler; $300,000,
      Hydrogen Transmission roadmap;
      $260,000, Rail Freight Opp;
      $250,000, Taranaki Clean Energy Centre bus. Case;
      $100,000, 8 projects under $100,000; $490,000.
      the other categories [serious money]
      NNEDC; $27,000,000,
      Yarrow Stadium; $20,000,000,
      Stratford Pool; $8,000,000,
      Mawhitiwhiti Kanihi Pa; $5,000,000,
      Nukumaru Station Road; $7,000,000,
      Te Ramanui o Ruaputahanga Hawera; $3,000,000,
      Dawson Falls; $3,000,000,
      Cycle Park & Basketball Stratford; $2,000,000,
      NPDC Thermal Dryer; $36,000,000,
      SH3 Waitara to Bell Block; $14,000,000,
      3 Waters Funds; $17,900,000,
      Other roading projects – estimate; $1,000,000,
      Pouakai Crossing Funding; $3,400,000,
      Taranaki 2050 Roadmap; $250,000,
      Tourism Infrastructure Fund Mangorei Road; $708,500,
      Tourism Facilities Devt Fund Resp. Camping Est; $156,000,
      Green School; $11,700,000.
      https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/opinion/300094305/new-plymouth-mayor-explains-why-he-supported-private-schools-117m-government-funding

      Reply
      • John J Harrison

         /  29th August 2020

        Duker, yet another failed attempt at deflection.
        Next week in QT we will witness the melt down of the Loony Left led by Shaw , Jones and the Labour Ministers who all signed off this scandalous waste of public money.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  29th August 2020

          You mean Collins will arch her eyebrows and say no mistakes were ever made during nationals term.
          Shaw will probably just hide … just like Key used to do

          Reply
        • Duker

           /  29th August 2020

          I forgot to say national hasnt even been asking all their alloted questions recently …apparently all those Mps leaving the sinking ship have gone on early gardening leave ( plus all rest of the list losers ) and wont lift a finger.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  29th August 2020

            Loyal caucus members ponder the election strategy, choices choices or …

            Reply
          • John J Harrison

             /  29th August 2020

            Duker, Collins could not possibly comment on National’s term until it commence’s in October.
            National are giving some of their questions to Seymour – a true professional!
            If you want some entertainment go over to The Daily Blog and The Standard where they are going absolutely ape – shit and blaming both Labour and N Z First ministers for this ultimate cluster ——.
            Indeed the language used is beyond the pale.
            Thank goodness your truly has a wonderful red to quaff while roaring with laughter.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  29th August 2020

              Not ape shit….that’s more apt to describe your actions.
              It’s a 2 day wonder….who remembers those 2 national MPs drummed out out the party…yet that was big news for more than a week.
              Next week will have a different headlines….my guess a poll this Monday or Tues will fill the voids
              Collins makes mistakes too, when it happens you will the first to complain about …unfair to Judith

  1. Shaw publicly apologises but pressure continues over Green School handout | Your NZ

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